Story

Protecting students’ right to education during COVID-19

Empowered through learning about the MoE Strategy, Dr. Lubna ensured that gender equality was a key component of education planning in Tafila, and was able to address the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis in her community. In March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingdom announced a total lockdown and schools were closed. As an immediate response, and in order to ensure continuity of education and learning, the Ministry of Education activated online learning solutions through both televised lessons and an e-learning platform (http://www.darsak.gov.jo).

Immediately, Dr. Lubna knew that some learners were at risk of being left behind, especially young girls, and those living in rural areas without access to e-learning technology. She recognized that many of the nomadic people living in remote areas surrounding Tafila sent their children to school but did not have electricity at home.

"When I first saw the caravan I thought, ‘this is not a school - more like a room’”, said Sadeel, 12. “But I love it because it is a place where we can read and learn and I want to learn. I know girls from my community who drop out of school at a certain age. I want to become a teacher one day so I will be able to teach my community”.

Dr. Lubna sensitized the MoE to the challenges Tafila’s students faced with distance learning. Thanks to creative solutions proposed by the MoE, 20 caravans were secured to create a safe place for teaching and learning for the most vulnerable in Tafila. Dr. Lubna visited some of the surrounding tribes to get an idea of the most accessible spots to place the caravans, and advocated with local communities on the importance of continuing education even under challenging circumstances. She spoke to the children in the area, telling them about the caravans under development, and informing them that snacks would be provided at these makeshift schools, knowing that offering food at school provided a strong incentive to attend.

Dr. Lubna also worked hard with the surrounding communities to ensure that caravans were connected to water, linking them to local wells and ensuring that COVID-19 physical distancing and sanitary measures were maintained.

“I was so encouraged by the passion I heard coming from the children. As I went around to raise awareness about the caravans, they would run up to me asking when school would be opening again”, shared Dr. Lubna.

For more information on UNESCO’s COVID-19 response, please visit:

https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse

For more information on UNESCO’s System Strengthening Partnership with the Ministry of Education, please visit:  https://en.unesco.org/fieldoffice/amman/ssp

Hashtags to use on social media:  #LearningNeverStops